Chinese private firms are seeing new expansion abroad and already lead China's investment overseas, Chris Lu, CEO of Deloitte China, said on Saturday at a forum in south China's Hainan Province.
The 2013 Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference witnessed hot discussion among private firm bosses, worrying about domestic economic circumstances and expecting investment-based development overseas.
They considered the present export challenges as an opportunity to set new goals, and most determined investment overseas as the best choice.
Lu said surging operating and financing costs posed a plight to private firms, while large multi-national businesses are bringing harsher competition to China's home market.
Therefore, Chinese private firms formed a vigorous investment trend in foreign countries, and have already become dominant in China's foreign investment. Greenfield and contract construction topped all the overseas projects of private firms, he said.
The Deloitte China CEO said, however, that mergers and acquisitions by private firms, mainly appearing in Europe and Americas, remains at about one-tenth of that by state-owned enterprises.
Bao Yujun, chairman of the China Private Sector Association, said at the forum that private economy shall provide the main force in boosting the country's economic development.
He explained that governmental public finance had been directed toward guaranteeing and improving people's livelihoods, while state-owned capital targeted areas related to the country's security, leaving private capital as the only choice to carry out large-scale investment in common and competitive markets.
In 2012, the private sector took over 61 percent of the total fixed assets investment overseas, and the figure in 2011 was 50 percent, according to Bao.
He suggested private firms change their style from expanding businesses on their own to developing hand in hand with local companies, which could make it easier when entering target markets.
Private entrepreneurs said the debt crisis in Europe created a golden chance for the Chinese private sector to expand through cooperation abiding by local rules.
On July 3, 2012, the Chinese government pledged to help private companies invest abroad while strengthening macro guidance on their overseas investment and helping them invest in a step-by-step and focused manner.
Kong Linglong, director of the National Development and Reform Commission's Division of Foreign Capital Utilization, said these measures helped Chinese private firms become more involved in world business operation with their own advantages.
Bosses attending the forum also agreed to apply combined overseas cooperative methods to invest in projects like tech parks, outsourcing services, jointly research and develop key programs and take part in the global production and procurement, so as to win dominant positions in global competition.